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Mr. Dismore: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) if he will list the sites covered by the Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations; which such sites were inspected by the Health and Safety Executive in the last 12 months for which figures are available; and which such sites have suffered (a) a serious/notifiable incident and (b) a near miss since the regulations came into force; 
(2) if he will list the sites covered by the (a) Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations and (b) Manufacture and Storage of Explosives Regulations which have been the subject of an enforcement notice or prosecution since the regulations came into force. 
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what representations his Department has received in the last three years on the use of voice
stress analysis in the investigation of suspected fraudulent (a) incapacity benefit claims and (b) other benefit claims; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what discussions his Department has had on the use of voice stress software in the assessment of claims for compensation under schemes for which his Department is responsible in the last two years; and if he will make a statement; 
(3) what plans his Department has made to pilot voice stress analysis for (a) analysis in the investigation of fraudulent benefit claims and (b) assessment of claims for compensation for which his Department is responsible. 
James Purnell: There have been a number of recent representations on the winter fuel payment. These include calls for an increase in the payment, for the payment to be extended to disabled people under 60 years of age and most recently to people receiving disability living allowance who are terminally ill, and for a change in the qualifying week, which is set in legislation as the third full week in September.
Dr. Cable: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the (a) effects and (b) administrative costs of changing the date relating to eligibility for winter fuel payments to (i) 31 October and (ii) 31 December each year. 
James Purnell: If the deadline to qualify for this winter's payment had been the 31 October, around 60,000 more people in Great Britain would have become eligible to receive a payment at an additional cost of approximately £8 million. If the deadline had been the 31 December, around 150,000 more people in Great Britain would have become eligible to receive a payment at an additional cost of approximately £21 million.
The qualifying week for winter fuel payments is set in legislation as the third full week in September. This date is used in order to establish entitlement and make payments before Christmas. If a later date were used, the payment exercise could not be completed in time
for the payments to be available by Christmas. We decided to make all automatic payments by Christmas to reassure pensioners that they will have extra money available to pay for heating their homes during the coldest part of the year. If the qualifying week were to be significantly later than it is at present, then payments would have to be made in the early part of the following year. Departmental computer systems are already working to full capacity during the early months of the year to accommodate the uprating of benefits in April. It would not be possible to issue over 11 million winter fuel payments at the same time without putting this at risk.
No assessment has been made of the administrative costs if the qualifying date was changed to either 31 October or 31 December each year but they are likely to be negligible as the same processes would be used.
Danny Alexander: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many Workstep places are unoccupied, broken down by location; and whether he plans to reallocate those places to providers who have already successfully filled their allocation. 
|Unfilled Workstep places at the end of November 2006 by Jobcentre region|
| Note: Figures for Workstep are not collected for any smaller geographical units.|
We have no plans to re-allocate these unfilled places as a level of under-occupancy based on previous performance is assumed for contracting purposes and for setting the annual expenditure allocation for the Workstep programme.